Samsung Electronics Co yesterday announced the launch of its mobile payment service in China, where it is likely to struggle in an already crowded market that archrival Apple Inc entered about six weeks ago.
China is the world’s biggest smartphone market and Samsung Pay has a powerful partner in China — bank card provider UnionPay Co (中國銀聯) — which has links to the central bank.
However, unlike in most other countries, mobile payment systems are already well-established in China, with local providers dominating the market.
As an outsider, Samsung will also have to compete with Apple, which launched its own Apple Pay system last month — also in partnership with UnionPay.
Samsung said its service currently supports selected credit and debit cards from nine Chinese banks and is available on its top-end Galaxy smartphones, with mid-range models to follow.
China had 359 million online payment users in the middle of last year, up about 18 percent in six months, according to the state-backed China Internet Network Information Center.
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